Monthly Archives: September 2009

Director Spotlight: Frenzy

Alfred Hitchcock’s Frenzy is a film that is simultaneously familiar and fresh to his fans. One can find his telltale touches throughout, from the opening, sweeping panoramic shot and the lighting-quick edits that accentuate a particularly brutal attack all the way down to the noticeably fake background used for an interior car scene (not to mention his necessary cameo). These trademarks are equally balanced by new elements: showing rather than insinuating violence (think Psycho), the inclusion of nudity, and – owing to the first two points – an ‘R’ rating. Read the rest of this entry

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Surrogates

Back in 2003, Robert Vendetti came up with a manuscript for a story.  This story worked well enough to have Top Shelf, a comic company, make a graphic novel out of it-but unfortunately it doesn’t quite translate well into a feature film. Surrogates starring Bruce Willis is based on the Surrogates graphic novel and doesn’t hit the mark. Read the rest of this entry

Surrogates (Devil’s Advocate Review)

Surrogates is a sci-fi movie about robots controlled by people too lazy or too ugly to go out in public.  Nice to know that even in the near future some things don’t change much. I like consistency in my fake futures. The movie stars Bruce Willis and one of his worst wigs ever. Seriously, it looks like a surrogate for his hair.  It looks like a blind man”s comb over. Read the rest of this entry

Inferno Cage Match: Captain Jack Sparrow vs. Captain Hook

Inferno Cage Match 6

In this corner,  he’s been called the Pirate Lord of The Caribbean Sea.  He has evaded capture by the British Royal Navy and a grisly death more times than we can count.  He runs his ship with a flamboyant flare that leaves his shipmates, peers, and enemies guessing at all times.  The one, the only-CAPTAIN JACK SPARROW!!! 

In this corner, he’s a contemporary of Long John Silver, but is more feared on the high seas.  Standing tall with one functioning hand and an ever so pointy hook in place of the other.  Taking a break from hunting Peter Pan and the Lost Boys, we have, none other than-CAPTAIN HOOK!!!   

Director Spotlight: Psycho

Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho redefined the phrase “mama’s boy.”  The story goes:  a woman is on the run, with stolen funds, so she decides to stop at a hotel. What could go wrong, right?  There she meets Norman Bates, a lonely hotel keeper with a thing for taxidermy.  Then, while in drag, he murders her viciously in a shower scene that would be imitated for years to come. We listen to that orchestra music as the Hershey’s chocolate syrup swirls down the drain. That’s really about it. The subplot of this movie when her sister and boyfriend come looking for her never really did it for me. Read the rest of this entry

Jennifer’s Body (Lonely Devil Review)

Jennifer’s booty – I mean – body!  Pardon me, Freudian slip there. As I was saying, Jennifer’s Body claimed to be a hot and scary gore fest chock full of blood and oozing with innuendos of sexuality… wait, what? Innuendos of sexuality? Where is the actual sexuality? I’m talking gratuitous sexual sequences with boobs man! And where is that hardcore Hostel style gore? Isn’t this movie rated R? Sure there’s some great witty dialogue and surprisingly good acting, but this is horror! I want some campy scenes and gratuitousness. It feels good coming out of the mouth, go ahead, say it gra-tu-it-tous-ness. It was kind of sexy, but I don’t remember seeing any boobs… and I was looking for them. Read the rest of this entry

Inferno Cage Match: Bodhi vs. Dalton

Inferno Cage Match 5

In this corner, a pure adrenaline junkie, with a gun in one hand and parachute on his back.  He plunders, he surfs, and philosophizes with the best of them.  A major fan of Reaganomics, he takes what he wants as he trickles down to the beach for some sun and surf.  The one, the only…BODHI!!!

In this corner…we all thought he’d be bigger.   Even with his mean roundhouse kick and left hook, he still taught us to just be nice.  In case of an accident, he has his medical records in hand, even though he believes, pain don’t hurt.  A fellow philosophy buff, who is frankly, pretty buff.  The undisputed champion of bouncers worldwide…DALTON!!!

Patrick Swayze

1952-2009

Jennifer’s Body Lead In (Just For The Hell Of It)

31-year-old Brook Busey, distinguished former stripper for the city of Minneapolis, famous American screenwriter and blogger, and all-around vixen badass is better known by moviegoers as Diablo Cody. Some of you may have seen her style in the Oscar-award winning screenplay, Juno – the story of a teenage girl who accidentally gets pregnant and is forced to go through high school while simultaneously entering motherhood. Well, now Cody has another screenplay on the market – avid horror flick lovers await the release of Jennifer’s Body on Friday September 18th, 2009.

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C-5 Ahh You Sank My Respect For Hollywood (A Mad As Hell Op-Ed Piece)

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Director Spotlight: The Trouble With Harry

As everyone knows Alfred Hitchcock is the all time great, master of comedy.  It’s his trademark.  The man is all about the guffaws.  Didn’t you see The Birds?  Hilarious stuff.   I am not ashamed to say, that going into this particular spotlight, that I had no clue Alfred Hitchcock had ever done a comedy (actually he had done a couple comedies, and other suspense films with comedic undertones). 

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9 (Devil’s Advocate Review)

Four years later, after numerous rumors and murmurs 9 opened on 9/9/09 (good job marketing people).  As with most animated/CG films the first thing one will notice, in the opening scene, is how realistic the animation effects are.  For a few moments it is easy to forget that what you are about to watch is “not real.”  Once you get past the effects, though, the movie itself tries to tell an entire story in a very short amount of time.  After four years of production one would think the film could have reached a minimum of 90 minutes long instead of it’s 79 minute running time (when calculated on a matinee ticket of $7, it cost about 8.8 cents a minute to watch). 

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9

Animated films these days basically fall into one of two categories: Disney or Pixar films of high quality, and features made by other studios that are usually of much lower quality. The success of Pixar also helped propel CGI into wide production, which now has a slew of films to its credit that are despised by critics but still rake in plenty of dough to make a profit (including Bee Movie, TMNT, and Aliens in the Attic). Occasionally, an animated feature comes along by an outside studio that is both critically and commercially successful; among them are Shrek, Howl’s Moving Castle and Kung Fu Panda.

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The Bride vs. Abigail Whistler (Hell Hath No Fury)

Inferno Cage Match 3

In this corner covered in blood from vanquishing the enemies that wronged her.  She’s deadly with her bare hands and a Hanso sword.  Give it up (cuz if you don’t you’ll go on her list) for The Bride!!!!!!

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The Ugly Truth (Lil Devil)

The ugly truth is that The Ugly Truth is neither ugly or beautiful…well maybe a bit more towards the ugly.  This movie plays like a typical run of the mill, cookie cutter film about girl meets boy, girl is disgusted by boy, eventually girls falls in love with boy.

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Director Spotlight: Saboteur (Our 100th Post)

Set in the United States during the second World War, Saboteur asks the question that no one at the time really thought to ask.  What happens when our troops are overseas fighting the good fight and domestic terrorism rears it’s ugly head?

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The Men Who Stare at Goats

There was DARPA who experimented on soldiers with LSD and now there’s ARPA who scrutinize peoples gates and perform mind control experiments on people. All government funded. It’s all true they just don’t talk about it….Well i’m not sure where this new George Clooney movie lands but it sure looks funny. George and a myriad of other stars act as the new generation of psychic soldiers, alongside reporter Ewan McGregor. Check it out:

Extract (Devil’s Advocate Review)

First, and foremost, a lot of what I will say, deals with the writer/director Mike Judge, whom coming off a short hiatus from his last directorial film, Idiocracy (2006) is hungry to put the tongue-in-cheek comedy back onto the main stage. His main staple, his claim to fame, is the two animated characters of Beavis & Butthead. Knowing that at least some point in the ninety’s you’ve heard of these two colorful characters, gives you a slight idea of how the mind of Mike Judge works. Further more, if you haven’t seen his film Office Space, or are unfamiliar with the film, it is HIGHLY recommended you see it first, even before you read any further into this review. I guarantee that film will set the tone of how interested you may become in spending 10+ bucks to see Extract.

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Extract

After a hiatus to tackle more existential realms (Idiocracy), Mike Judge returns to the normal, everyday working world with Extract.  He trades in his white collar heroes/criminals of Office Space for a grungy, factory blue one, but fails to find the hilarity that made his first film a cultural phenomenon.

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Gamer (Devil’s Advocate Review)

In between takes, Butler criticizes Hall's knife technique on Dexter.

In between takes, Butler criticizes Hall's knife technique on Dexter.

The newest release from Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor, who brought us the Crank movies, gives us this Running Man meets Deathrace combo, Gamer.  Neveldine and Taylor really reach out to today’s teenagers with this one.  We get a video game world with violence, action, and plenty of T & A to round it out.  The directors do well with the shakey cams and washed out scenes to make us feel like we are inside the video game.

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Gamer

  I really wanted to like this film; after all I personally feel that Michael C. Hall (Showtime’s Dexter) and Kyra Sedgwick (TNT’s The Closer) are on top of their respective games in their current incarnations on television.  I wanted to see how Gerard Butler (300) would grow as an actor after leading us against a force of thousands in his last movie.  I even wanted to even see if Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor could outgrow the Crank franshise.  In the end Gamer for the lack of a better phrase, has no game.

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All About Steve (Lil Devil)

This weekend I went to see the film All About Steve, or as I like to call it, “an excuse to see previews for films I’d much rather be watching.”  What films did I see previews for, you ask:

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Inferno Cage Match: Morpheus Vs. Obi Wan Kenobi

cage match 2

In this corner wearing a long black trench coat and glasses that stay on his face somehow. Captain of The Nebba…Nebbaaakannez…a really cool ship. He believes that his guy Neo will bring order to the Matrix and save the humans. He’s quick with his feet, his fists, and especially his guns. Give it up for Morpheus!!!!!

In this corner he’s pretty old, but don’t let that fool you. Wearing a long brown cloak and wielding a lightsaber, and the force. He believes his guy Luke will bring order to the galaxy. Watch out or he’ll chop your freaking hand off in a bar.  Let’s hear it for OBI WAN!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

Disney buys Marvel….Great Just Great (A Mad As Hell Op-Ed Piece)


So today in the news I read that The House of Mouse now owns some super heroes. Read the rest of this entry

Director Spotlight: The 39 Steps

This month we cover the master of suspense, Alfred Hitchcock, as his stories weaved through the decades becoming stronger and stronger. But he first got his start in his native England, directing silent pictures, before “talkies” were the new big thing. By the time 1935 had rolled around, he had just directed the first version of The Man Who Knew Too Much, starring Peter Lorre, and wanted a progression in terms of tension and action. He then decided to direct a film adaptation of John Buchan’s adventure novel The Thirty-Nine Steps, starring Robert Donat as English spy Richard Hannay. Read the rest of this entry

September Director Spotlight: Alfred Hitchcock

Good Evening…it is now September and we have to give another director their due.  With Alfred Hitchcock’s long career it only seemed fitting that we cover his films during a month with five weeks, so that we can watch that one extra film.  Plus, it works out that we can review his films spanning from the 1930s all the way up to the 1970s (sure he did films in the 1920s, but he really hit his stride in the 30s). 

The schedule of films to be covered, as it stands right now (there might be changes based on availability) is:

Sept. 2nd:  The 39 Steps

Sept. 9th:  Saboteur

Sept. 16th:  The Trouble with Harry

Sept. 23rd:  Psycho

Sept. 30th: Frenzy

Follow along with us, watch the movies, and feel free to leave comments.  We’d love to hear from you.

Devil’s Advocates Present….

Recently, the idea came up that there are some very niche specific ideas that we could implement on the site.  We wanted to create spots on here where certain genres of film could be featured, for the people that want to write about that specific type of film.  Unfortunately, the site does have its limitations so we came up with another idea.  Instead of cramming everything into one site we would have a number of “sister” sites that would feature one type of film.  For instance, we have a site that caters to foreign cinema, and foreign cinema only.  The website is now a couple weeks old, but hasn’t been publicized well.  Another website, that is in the works, focuses on independent films. 

On the toolbar to the right you’ll find the “Devil’s Advocates Present…” links. If you happen to be on here and tooling around, make your way over to our other sites…well right now just the one.  

http://foreignterritory.wordpress.com/